Cash-for-vote scam: Telangana CM KCR reviews status of case, triggers speculation

The Telangana Chief Minister is reportedly considering another meeting to be held on Tuesday.
Cash-for-vote scam: Telangana CM KCR reviews status of case, triggers speculation
Cash-for-vote scam: Telangana CM KCR reviews status of case, triggers speculation
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In a move that triggered off speculation, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao held a meeting on Monday with officials of the police and the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) at Pragathi Bhavan in Hyderabad, to review the controversial cash-for-votes case that rocked the state in 2015. 

According to media reports, Telangana DGP M Mahendar Reddy, ACB DG J Purnachandra Rao, and AK Khan, who was heading the ACB when the issue came to light, were all part of the meeting, which lasted several hours.

“The Supreme Court had earlier directed the TS government to file a counter with regard to a Public Interest Litigation case filed by YSRC MLA Alla Ramakrishna Reddy seeking CBI probe into the case. We have so far not filed the counter. During the review, KCR has been briefed about the progress of the case so as to file a counter,” sources told TNIE.

The review meeting took place even as Finance Ministers of 11 states met in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, when Telangana decided to stay away. 

Revanth Reddy, one of the main accused in the case, has also switched loyalties to the Congress since the issue broke out.

The Chief Minister is reportedly considering another meeting to be held on Tuesday. The timing of the meeting has raised eyebrows and triggered off speculation about KCR's next move.

The case

Telangana TDP legislator A Revanth Reddy was caught red-handed by the ACB on May 31, 2015, when he was offering Rs 50 lakh to Independent MLA Stephenson to make him vote for the TDP-BJP candidate in the elections to the Telangana legislative council. 

ACB, which had laid a trap on a complaint by Stephenson, also arrested Revanth Reddy's aides. TRS leaders have been alleging that Naidu is the mastermind in the scam and he should be booked.

The ACB had earlier said that there were 516 telephone conversation records in the phone of Sebastian, one of the aides arrested, of which 102 are related to the cash-for-vote case.

However, the most important phone call was one alleged to be between Elvis Stephenson and Chandrababu Naidu.

The audio tape was first played by T News, a Telugu news channel owned by the ruling TRS party and was later picked up by others. 

During the conversation, Naidu purportedly assured the nominated member that he is with him. "Our people briefed me. I am with you don't bother. For everything I am with you. What all they spoke, we will honour," Naidu was heard telling the legislator.

In November 2016, an ACB court ordered that Naidu's reported role in the case be probed, following which the Chief Minister's advocates challenged the order in the Hyderabad High Court.

In December, the HC set aside the order of the ACB court, following which a YSRCP MLA moved the Supreme Court.

In March 2017, the apex court served a notice to Naidu, seeking his response to YSRC MLA Alla Ramakrishna Reddy’s petition. It also directed the Telangana government to file a counter.

IANS inputs

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